Winter 2013 | Another Departure from Nanga Parbat, Unfortunate on Laila Peak

There have been a couple of melodramatic developments in winter climbing over the past two days. Winter action that started early on Nanga Parbat is approaching a not-so-successful end; Third Justice for All expedition had already announced their departure few days back, while just a while ago US-Hungarian Team too called it off. Daniel Nardi and Elisabeth Revol are fighting 100kph ferocious winds on Mummery Ribbon, in a final desperate attempt to reach summit. Spanish team on Laila Peak were unfortunate too, who had to turn back just 80m below summit to avoid a descent in darkness.

Nanga Parbat
It was third consecutive winter of Tomek Mackiewicz and Marek Klonowski on Nanga Parbat, who were able to reach their highest point (and second highest in Nanga Parbat's winter climbing history) of 7400m before calling the expedition over on Sunday.

Now, Ian Overton and David Klein, who were determined to stay on the mountain till the end of this month, had to abruptly call the US-Hungarian expedition over after former developed signs of AMS. Their third colleague, Zoltan Robert Acs, had already left the region due to frostbitten feet. The final climb of David and Ian started from BC on 9th February. After a difficult day of breaking trail through deep snow, they reached C1 and stayed there for the night. On 10th morning, duo set off towards C2. It wasn't too long before Ian started feeling bad; "Nausea and fatigue overwhelm me. Kicking steps feels like the most desperate act in the world .. I feel sleepy and my gut feels twisted. My head is pounding .. I’m getting dizzy".
By the time, they reached their temporary deposit from previous trip at 5500m, condition of Ian worsened and David made the rational decision of a rapid descent. After collecting gear from C1, they reached base camp where Ian felt better after some medication and sleep.
Subsequent to evaluation of available time & resources and getting the feeling that they have 'reached a point that summit will not be possible', the climbers mutually agreed to call it off. US-Hungarians were attempting the route attempted by Reinhold Messner, Hubert Messner, Hanspeter Eisendle and Wolfgang Tomaseth in 2000 (and also by Simone & Denis in winter 2011-12). "This mountain has thrown a lot at us. Crevasse falls, avalanches, massive snows, sub-zero colds and now a bout of an ailment I thought wouldn’t touch me. I work at altitude, train at altitude and it still got me." writes disappointed Ian.

Solo climber Joel Wischnewski, who went up from his C2 at 4300m on Rupal face, haven't updated his position yet. Hope that everything is well with French snowboarder.

Italian Daniel Nardi and French lady Elisabeth Revol are fighting fierce wind on Mummery Ridge. They too are running out of resources and want to earn one last chance to go atop Nanga Parbat. They sat off from BC on 9th February. Though climbing details wouldn't be available until the climbers return to BC, but thanks to location updates from home team, we know that duo is facing rough conditions. The pair spent first night at 5200m on ice fall. On 10th, they managed to reach 6000m. Today, strong wind confined Daniel & Elisabeth to their tent at 6000m. Tomorrow if 100kph gusts show a respite, duo would try climbing till 7000m.

Broad Peak
Polish team waits for an improvement in weather (& visibility) to go up and fix route beyond C3 or establish C4. Forecast suggests that tonight's chill factor at Broad Peak summit would be -67°C and would remain similar throughout the week.

Laila Peak
Spanish Team (José Fernández, Ramón Portilla, Alex Txikon and Juanjo San Sebastián) narrowly missed the first winter ascent of Laila Peak when they had to retreat from just 80m below summit. Team had been making gradual but steady progress since they left BC on 7th. After spending three nights on mountain (one each in C1, a bivouac and C2) team was all set for summit push on Sunday. But the technical giant ramp to summit proved to be rougher than expected. On Sunday, Alex and Jose organized the route to 300m above C2 before turning back to C2. On 11th February morning, team started the push towards summit under cloudy skies. The blizzard and difficult route to summit joined by cold and exhaustion slowed them, significantly. Team was at 6020 when they had to make the tough decision of turning back since it was getting late.
They reached C2 at around sunset. Team would be descending to BC tomorrow as they are literally out of food since yesterday. Chances of another attempt to reach summit are not known, as of now.

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